The storm the day before Valentine’s Day that I mentioned yesterday was far from my main worry down there in the Roaring Forties on the final journey of a professional yachting career, on that swallowing-the-anchor voyage.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
The final voyage ... My gorgeous yacht photographed in mid-North Atlantic by Sofie and snatched by a corrupt prosecution.

I might have been close to retirement age and might have been at least a thousand miles from the nearest human, but I worried most about a woman, a very special person.

Three-into-two won’t go

As mentioned, the weather’s rage caused any number of sail changes.

Sometimes the yacht wore a little canvas as she battled with the elements, sometimes with only bare poles when the storm gusted too hard.

It was almost Valentine’s Day and my hoped-for Valentine dominated my thinking all alone down there in the Southern Ocean.

My book of that last voyage, Sailing to Purgatory, tells of falling very heavily for Sofie, an amazing sailor who I had left behind on the last anchorage back in the North Atlantic.

The decision would be hers

Sofie was part of a three-into-two won’t go triangle, and doubly sadly because I admired her fellow.

I tried to be a gentleman, tried tactics not to get involved, but, well, Cupid will have his way.

I had certainly fallen in love and the best option, the most gentlemanly thing I could do, seemed to be to sail away, leaving Sofie – much younger than me - to decide her future herself.

Then it would be up to her whether to keep the relationship going, or to split up, and to join me on land once I reached the final harbour.

I sailed from the island alone on that Christmas Day and a few weeks later, down in the Roaring Forties, encountered some really challenging weather.

A crooked prosecution's plans

A man being a man, my main worry though was whether Sofie would join me. We emailed through amateur radio regularly, even through the extreme weather.

I didn’t try to pressure her, or anything like that. I certainly hoped and worried.

As yesterday’s blog suggested, I hoped Sofie and I would become an old married couple. Unbeknown to me, far away a crooked prosecution desperately in need of a smuggler learned of my voyage and decided to make me the defendant.

The prosecution said my worry down there in the Southern Ocean was only to do with the drugs I allegedly carried. The weight of their imagined illegal cargo was heavy enough to have sunk the yacht, but that didn’t seem to matter to the jury.

Foul weather, the prosecution mocked, existed only in my imagination.

My dream was that Sofie would join me for the rest of my life. The prosecution and their crooked plan ensured that the dream would be a nightmare with a great lump of the rest of my life spent with huge numbers who most certainly failed to resemble Sofie in any way.

Thanks very much for visiting the blogs for my adventure book, Sailing to Purgatory.

Yesterday's memory of injustice

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